Jesse loved and appreciated everything he had in his life. It didn’t matter if you were a member of his family, a friend or just a stranger he met on the street, he always knew what to say and gave you his best, making sure you left feeling better about yourself and your situation. He was a true light in our community and his sudden passing has left a large void for all those who called him a friend.
Jesse Willard was born in Owen Sound on November 29, 1976 to parents John Willard and Lois Jane (Hemstock) Clements. He joined older brother Colin (1973), calling Copper Kettle home. The Clements moved to Tara when Jesse was a toddler and he soon began attending Arran-Tara Elementary School. The family welcomed a new addition in 1984 when Dawn was born and it was also then that Norm Capling, another father-figure, came into Jesse’s life. He attended high school in Chesley at Chesley District, graduating in 1995.
Following school, Jesse began working for Edwards Security in Owen Sound, a job he was very proud of and remained with the company until 2007. During these years, Jesse continued to extend his reach in life, whether it be through his wrestling days as “JC Climax” or playing bass guitar with Trevor MacKenzie and their many bands. He was very approachable and treated everyone he met with dignity and respect, always knowing what to say and remaining very positive.
In 2006 and while at a cottage with some friends, Jesse was introduced to Heidi Annaliza Jennen. The two hit it off immediately and shortly after began dating. Heidi and her daughter, Hailey, later moved in with him and he took on the roles of a loving spouse and caring father. Jesse’s life forever changed in 2008, when he and Heidi welcomed their son, Ayden. Jesse’s family was his world! He would do anything for them and always made sure that their every need was met. Jesse and Heidi made it official on September 18, 2010, when they were married in front of friends and family at Kelso Beach in Owen Sound. In true Jesse fashion, he had made it a point to ask Hailey for her permission to marry her mom!
By this time their family of four had settled in Tara where Jesse was working for Sensient Flavours at the old milk plant in Tara. As you probably already know, Jesse was passionate about many things in his life and his job was no exception. He took great pride in his work and was always the “go-to” whenever a problem arose. When Ayden was a baby, Jesse had some time off between jobs and was able to stay at home, spending quality time with Ayden. Sensient Flavours eventually sold the property to Lallemand, whereby the facility needed to be transformed to facilitate yeast production. Once again Jesse stepped up, and he along with his step-father Norm worked hand-in-hand to transform the building to its current form. He just celebrated five years with the company and was looking forward to the years ahead.
If you knew Jesse you would understand the importance of music in his life. From a young age, he liked the bass runs of Jimi Hendrix and later, Old Crow Medicine Show, Beastie Boys, Hank Williams Sr., Waylon Jennings, and James Brown, just to name a few. As you can see he had an eclectic taste in music. Jesse grew up in a musical family and soon began to take up playing the bass guitar. As mentioned earlier, he played in a variety of bands in his youth and more recently enjoyed playing with his mom, and their band, Second Line. In recent years, he began to sing a bit more, with some encouragement from mom and in turn taught her to play the bass when he was singing. Jesse even built his own bass guitar, completing it in the last month of his life. Duke, as he referred to it, (this was the nickname that his Grampa Lewis gave him when he was a boy) was played for the first time at a performance on January 4, 2020. This work of love will remain with his family for years to come and will be a constant reminder of his hard work and musical talents.
In his free time, Jesse enjoyed working in the garden. He grew a variety of vegetables, plants, and flowers, with sunflowers being his specialty. His sunflowers would regularly grow in excess of 8 feet tall… amazing! He also enjoyed helping Heidi’s family with their Beekeeping business, Georgian Bay Honey. Jesse spent countless hours caring for the bees and helping create the final product. The family also enjoyed spending time away, camping at Fisherman’s Cove and creating many memories. He enjoyed working with his hands and completed a variety of home improvements around the house. He had a straight thumb that went well with his green thumb! These hands also built his beloved shed, something that he was so proud of. If he ever got to a task that stumped him, he would resort back to Google or YouTube for some assistance and usually completed the task with ease. In recent months he purchased his first brand new vehicle, a GMC Silverado truck, again something he was very proud of. When it came to TV, Jesse preferred the History Channel, documentaries and watching True Crimes with Heidi. There were also times that he spent playing video games, basketball as well as going bowling with Ayden. He loved this time with his son, always treasuring the time they spent together. Most will remember Jesse’s dog, Mojo. This chihuahua was “so cute” but it was definitely Jesse’s dog.
Jesse will forever be remembered for the family-man he was. His family was always first, and probably in his case second and third as well. He always put others first, making those around him feel special. He had an amazing ability to listen to others and then would share his unique perspective of the situation, always providing clarity and positive re-enforcement. It didn’t matter if this individual was 7 or 87, his approach was always similar and he had a real knack for knowing what to say in the challenging times. He had high morals, a memorable laugh and always gave strong hugs full of love. His love, happiness, honesty, and generosity has been passed on to all that knew him and his gentle old soul will never be forgotten. “Life brings tears, smiles, and memories. The tears eventually dry, the smiles fade, but the memories last forever”. Jesse is going to be dearly missed by many, but his memory will live on in his family and friends for years to come.
Sadly, Jesse left this world way too early when he passed away suddenly on Friday, January 10, 2020 at the age of 43.
Beloved husband and best friend of Heidi. Cherished father of Ayden Clements at home, and Hailey Jennen and her fiancé Dennis Macumber of London. Jesse will be lovingly remembered by his mother Lois Gilder of Chesley, siblings Colin of Port Clements, B.C., Dawn (Eli) of Port Clements, B.C., and grandsons Malcolm and Myles Macumber. He will be dearly missed by his grandmother Bonnie Hemstock of R.R. #1 Dobbinton as well as the entire Hemstock & Jennen families. Jesse will be fondly remembered by Norm Capling and his many close friends. He was predeceased by his father John Clements and step-father Rick Gilder.
Visitation will be held at Rhody Family Funeral Home, Chesley on Friday from 6 – 9 p.m. where a memorial service celebrating Jesse’s life will be held on Saturday, January 18, 2020 at 1 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to a trust fund which will be established for Ayden’s education (please make cheques payable to Heidi Clements) would be appreciated.